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Top 10 Entertainment Stories of 2009:

Charity, causes in 2009

Lagunans gathered to celebrate their favorite political causes and to raise money for good deeds.

January 01, 2010|By Ashley Breeding

Amid a year that will be remembered mostly for upheaval and downturn, many Laguna Beach folks reminded us that there is still a lot to be thankful for, and beyond that, there is hope for the future. The following Best of 2009 events were those that helped us tuck our own grievances aside and reach out to those in greater need, brought the community together to bring positive change, and focused on what’s important — each other. And some served only to help us escape reality and forget our troubles for a short while, and will be remembered as nothing more than a really good time.

1 Battle of the BoomBattle of the Boom

Laguna filmmaker and gay rights advocate John Keitel released the remake of his 2008 documentary, “Save the Boom,” which premiered in April at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

The film followed Save the Boom leader Fred Karger and his volunteer group during their year-and-a-half effort to raise awareness about gay rights.

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2 Cardio for KenyaCardio for Kenya

Also in April, Laguna resident and founder of the Kenya Self-Help Project Kat Gianesin organized a Cardio for Kenya event in collaboration with Art of Fitness gym in order to raise money and spread awareness about the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. The event also sponsored “dignity kits,” which provided destitute girls with feminine essentials.

3 La Casa celebrates 80 yearsLa Casa celebrates 80 years

The historic La Casa del Camino hotel celebrated its 80th anniversary in May with a Roaring ’20s bash that put on the Ritz and brought the community together. The “red-carpet” event included flappers, dappers and Zoot suit-clad fellas, live jazz music, old black-and-white films on the rooftop and an appearance by “Groucho Marx.” It will go down in history as one of the hotel’s swankiest.

4 Sharing Inspiration and HopeSharing Inspiration and Hope

The My Hero Project, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enlighten and inspire people of all ages with an ever-growing Internet archive of hero stories from around the globe, hosted its annual Hero Festival in May, which shared films about local heroes, created by local filmmakers.

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